Now back in Auckland and glad to leave Waro, thinking about my stay there, I think there was a shift in attitude to me after I had a private chat with Tanya the dutch girl. I'd said to her that I didn't know how she had spent so long there as I was finding it really dull. Tanya and Mary were very close and I've got a feeling she might have told Mary what I had said. Apparently there had been lots of parties and fishing trips just before I'd arrived so when I turned up it was a very different place to what Tanya had experienced. Must say though that I got up as usual on my last full day there, Tanya was leaving at 4pm, back to Auckland and over breakfast Warren asked her if she had been up a local Mount where the views were stunning, when she said 'no' Warren suggested that Mary take her. I'd just started work and Warren shouted for me annd asked if I would like to go along, it didn't take long for me to say yes. We first dropped the girls off at their respective schools and headed of. It ended up being a lot further than I expected, a good hours drive along some lovely coastal scenery. But when we got there the track was closed for renovation! Typical! We returned to the lodge via a lovely surf beach, I'd felt a bit of an atmosphere all morning towards me especially from Mary, she'd ask me a question and then switch off when I was talking to her, which i thought was really rude, but I thought 'what the hell, I'm gonna be leaving first thing tomorrow' When we got back I changed into my work clothes and decided to make a cup of tea, I thought I better fufill my work committment. Then I heard Warrens voice again calling me, he said as it was Tanyas last day we were all going out for lunch. All jumped back in the car and drove back into town for a seafood binge, all on Warren. Returned to the lodge again and as I got out the car warren said that i didn't have to do any work today, just take Bono for a walk and swim, which was a pleasure. So in the end I got off quite easily. The evening meal was a bit quiet without Tanya as she was the centre of attention and Mary and Warren weren't great dinner table chatters. they also wanted to watch the first rugby league game of the season, so for the only night I was there I was invited into the TV lounge to watch the game with an ice cold beer. I decided to play devils advocate and as they were shouting for the Auckland Blues I'd get behind the Wellington Warriors. My team won quite conclusively, I jumped in the shower and went to bed. Woke up early saturday morning, eager to catch the bus which was arriving at 8.45, I'd heard warren get up real early and leave, it turned out he'd gone diving and i bet mary was really annoyed she couldn't go because she had to look after the 2 girls this weekend. She'd said to me the other day, 'Never have children, it's the worse thing you can do, it totally messes up your life' which i was quite shocked at and she obviously resented her kids for stopping her have all the fun she wanted.
Anyway got up and ready with plenty of time, had breakfast alone, which suited me as i felt mary's eyes on me all the time. At 8.25 dragged bags down stairs and said goodbyes, all very stiff and formal unlike anywhere else I've stayed before, but then she asked me to comment in the visitors book, which I didn't want to do but made a short vaguely positive comment, where I really wanted to say that Mary was self centred and a cruel dog owner!
Bus arrived bang on time and journey back to Auckland minute perfect. Karen my new host had given me precise instructions in how to get to her place, west of Auckland in Glen Eden by train which was cheap and quick. She picked me up from the station and took me back to her place which is a lovely 7 bedroom Art Deco House which is a bit of a landmark. She bought it 18 months ago with her sister and she takes in foreign language students who are studying in town. She only has one staying at the moment, a vietnamese guy who doesn't speak much English at all.
She had her father Claude staying with her for the weekend who is visiting from the Gold coast in Australia where he lives. although he left last night to see his other daughter who lives in Tauranga which is probably the next place I am going.
She was also looking after her grandaughter Sophie who was a bit strange, rather vacant and aloof but came round to my charms eventually! especially when I tickled her to death!
The house is absolutely lovely, completely restored inside, with 30's furniture and fittings, I always thought Deco house were, heavy and dark but it's lovely light and airy. My room is great, at the top of the house with fantastic views back to Auckland about a 30-35 minute drive away. To be honest there doesn't seem to be much in the immediate area of interest but as i think I'm only going to be 3-4 days here that doesn't really matter. The work she wants doing in the garden is going to be challenging she wants a couple of very large well established plants removing, a philadelphus and wisteria. I am her first Helpxer and I'm not sure she really knows how it works and I think she was expecting me to work today Sunday, which I wasn't. Anyway, I woke up this morning and it was absolutely pouring-what is it with Auckland? everytime I'm here it hammers down! So I told her I'd put some extra hours in tomorow, she works all day in the city troubleshooting computer issues, so I'll spread the extra hours over a few days. Not sure what I'm going to get up to today, there is a local flea market which I'd like to see, but Karen said it would be quiet because of the weather. I'll see what comes up. TTFN